To many of us old timers, the battery storage industry looks a lot like the solar industry did ten years ago. Energy storage on the grid depends on future battery cost reductions, requires sophisticated management electronics, tricky packaging, favorable government policies, coordination with utility rates and appropriate financing. Not surprisingly, we’re seeing successful solar entrepreneurs from the last decade applying their finely-honed skills and tactics to build new energy storage businesses.
The synergies between solar and battery storage are obvious, but problems still exist in getting the economics to pencil out for customers. As in the solar industry, clever system designs and financing strategies can go a long way to improve customer economics and generate real sales. Although we’d like to see a solar array on every residential roof and two battery stacks in every garage, what is more likely to happen is that commercial customers will be the early adopters of combined solar and energy storage systems.
Tom Leyden, CEO of Solar Grid Storage, is building a business at the nexus of solar and battery storage. They have developed an elegantly packaged combination of battery storage, inverters and rooftop solar. Just as importantly, they offer flexible financing packages that effectively combine storage and solar as a service — with the economic benefits accruing both from grid support services as well as customer peak shaving and backup power. Please join me on this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as Tom Leyden explains the current opportunities and customer demand for combined solar and grid storage systems.